Single Speed vs Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Single Speed vs Variable SpeedPool type, size, quality of water, pressure – all these factors directly influence the choice of compulsory pool systems like filters and a pump. The latter is especially important for proper maintenance.

The market offers us two types of pumps – single speed (only one speed available) and variable speed units (with several speed programs that alter automatically or manually). Today, we’d like to discuss the best-selling pool equipment brands – Hayward, Pentair, and XtremepowerUS – to compare top single speed vs variable speed pool pumps to offer.

While single products suit smaller pools, are easier for installation, use, and just cheaper, variable systems work with larger reservoirs, are smarter, and ensure a great energy economy. Let’s find out what product will suit your needs.

Main Brand Differences

Hayward, Pentair, and XtremepowerUS are all American pool equipment manufacturers. As usual, they share lots in common and, at the same time, feature some differences.

  • Hayward can be justly called the oldest and most reputable name on our list. The company was founded back in 1925 and will soon celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Pentair has also deserved great respect for all these years passed since its establishment in 1966. Against such a background, XtremepowerUS seems to be a perspective and creative teenager as the company started its history in 2012 only.
  • Hayward and Pentair are very similar in many ways. We notice the same motors, control technologies, power rates. However, Pentair is the most expensive manufacturer. Hayward is close to it in terms of prices, but you can find some reliable middle-priced models.
  • XtremepowerUS differs more significantly. The brand offers simpler but much more affordable pool pumps. Thus, unlike the oldest manufacturers, it avoids wide usage of digital controls, timers, and other smart systems. Also, XtremepowerUS company produces universal pumps suitable both for inground and above ground pools. Its rivals usually specify on certain pool type.
So, here are the most noticeable differences we’d like to highlight so far. Now, let’s pass on to the discussion of more peculiarities between single speed vs variable speed pool pumps.

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SINGLE SPEED POOL PUMPS

Two brands take the leading positions in the single speed pump field – these are Hayward and Pentair models. The diversity of products will satisfy any customer but, at the same time, may make a choice a really tough thing.

Haywards support both pool types and offer more durable motors with anti-loading protection. Besides, they’re more affordable than Pentairs. Hayward is not a cheap brand, and even its simplest single speed pumps cost you up to $600 (still, an average price is $350-$400).

Pentair pool single speed pumps are rather aimed at inground pools and cost about $500-$550. For the money, you get a higher GPM rate and larger, more convenient baskets with transparent lids.

So, here is a detailed comparison of brands and all their pumps.

Hayward Single Speed Pumps

Hayward
The Hayward single speed section mostly uses the same base for all models. We can see similar heavy-duty, high-performance motors, large filter baskets, cooling systems, and even the same RPM rate in all pumps. Besides, weight and dimensions often coincide, so you will need standard space for installation.

Single Speed vs Variable Speed Pool Pumpsimportant

Please mind that single speed pumps provide simple installation and require no special tools. Some models like Hayward W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix can even change orientation from horizontal to vertical and vice versa.

However, Hayward produces separate pumps for inground and above ground pools, so please pay attention to this difference. Also, you can choose between 1 HP and a bit more powerful 1.5 HP devices.

Still, the main difference between the models lies in the GPM rate, which directly depends on the width of the port. The latter also varies from 1.5″ to 2″ (or there are models supporting both options). On average, you’ll get about a 5-7 psi increase at once.

As we said, Hayward offers the same motors. But if you’re looking for the most energy-efficient single speed pumps, we’d recommend you Hayward W3SP2307X10 MaxFlo XL and Hayward W3SP3007X10AZ Super II pool pumps with advanced hydraulics.

The manufacturer doesn’t provide info on debris baskets’ capacity, but you can choose between large units and extra-large units. Some pumps come with transparent covers for easy monitoring.

Also, all pumps we’re going to describe below are corded electric, but not all of them come with a cord in the kit. Cord length may also vary.

At the moment, users especially highlight the following five single speed pumps by Hayward. You can clearly see their main similarities and differences in our table.

Comparison Table

Hayward W3SP2610X15 Super Pump Pool...
Hayward W3SP1580X15 Power Flo Pool...
Hayward W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix...
Hayward W3SP2307X10 MaxFlo XL Pool...
Hayward W3SP3007X10AZ Super II Pool...
Dimensions
30.1 x 10.6 x 11.8 inches
20.5 x 6.5 x 8.5 inches
23.5 x 9.5 x 11.5 inches
31 x 9.9 x 12.4 inches
30.9 x 10.5 x 15.3 inches
Weight
38.5 pounds
24.1 pounds
30.8 pounds
35 pounds
38 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
above ground pools
above ground pools
inground pools
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
1.5 HP
1.5 HP
1 HP
1 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
heavy-duty, high-performance, the most energy-efficient motor in its class with advanced hydraulics
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation and advanced hydraulics
Built-In Filter
extra-large debris basket
extra-large debris basket with transparent cover
large debris basket
large debris basket with transparent cover
oversized debris basket
Port Size
1.5"
1.5"
1.5"
1.5" and 2"
1.5" and 2"
RPM
3450
3450
3450
3450
3450
GPM
about 40-45
60
42
70
about 100
Cord
corded (no cord included, buy separately)
a 6 ft cord
a 6 ft cord
no cord included
no cord included
Installation
exclusive swing-away hand knobs for easy strainer cover removal without tools; quick 4-bolt access to all internal components
easy to install
horizontal/vertical discharge for easy converting from vertical to horizontal discharge orientation
easy to install
easy to install
Hayward W3SP2610X15 Super Pump Pool...
Dimensions
30.1 x 10.6 x 11.8 inches
Weight
38.5 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
Built-In Filter
extra-large debris basket
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
3450
GPM
about 40-45
Cord
corded (no cord included, buy separately)
Installation
exclusive swing-away hand knobs for easy strainer cover removal without tools; quick 4-bolt access to all internal components
Hayward W3SP1580X15 Power Flo Pool...
Dimensions
20.5 x 6.5 x 8.5 inches
Weight
24.1 pounds
Pool Type
above ground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
Built-In Filter
extra-large debris basket with transparent cover
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
3450
GPM
60
Cord
a 6 ft cord
Installation
easy to install
Hayward W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix...
Dimensions
23.5 x 9.5 x 11.5 inches
Weight
30.8 pounds
Pool Type
above ground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation
Built-In Filter
large debris basket
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
3450
GPM
42
Cord
a 6 ft cord
Installation
horizontal/vertical discharge for easy converting from vertical to horizontal discharge orientation
Hayward W3SP2307X10 MaxFlo XL Pool...
Dimensions
31 x 9.9 x 12.4 inches
Weight
35 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance, the most energy-efficient motor in its class with advanced hydraulics
Built-In Filter
large debris basket with transparent cover
Port Size
1.5" and 2"
RPM
3450
GPM
70
Cord
no cord included
Installation
easy to install
Hayward W3SP3007X10AZ Super II Pool...
Dimensions
30.9 x 10.5 x 15.3 inches
Weight
38 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation and advanced hydraulics
Built-In Filter
oversized debris basket
Port Size
1.5" and 2"
RPM
3450
GPM
about 100
Cord
no cord included
Installation
easy to install

Price history:

Pentair Single Speed Pumps

Pentair
Pentair has lots of single speed pump models, but customers mostly like the following three products. As we’ve already mentioned, the brand supports inground pools; still, you can get a unit for above ground reservoirs too.

When it comes to RPM, Pentair features the same 3450 RPM standard for single speed pumps. But GPM rate reaches 100 points in all devices regardless of the HP motor level, etc.

By the way, motors are a bit simpler than in the Hayward pumps, though all are high-performance and heavy-duty. Pentair 340039 SuperFlo model is our leader here, thanks to the improved 56 square flange motor with highly engineered hydraulics.

The models coincide in filter baskets, too, both in dimensions and special see-through lids. Now, unlike the Hayward pumps, all models provide us with transparent basket covers. But you’ll see the difference in port sizes that vary from 1.5” to 2”.

Pentair primarily supports definite mounting orientation, but the 340210 Dynamo Above Ground pump offers us an easy access port with dual orientation both horizontally and vertically.

Single Speed vs Variable Speed Pool Pumpsimportant

Another reason to get a Pentair pump is strict UL/cUL listing and NSF certification.

For this review, we decided to take three best-selling Pentair single speed pool pumps. You can learn all their main characteristics, similarities, and differences in the table below.

Comparison Table

Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High...
PENTAIR 340210 Dynamo Above Ground...
Pentair 011512 WhisperFlo High...
Dimensions
27.5 x 12.5 x 14.8 inches
9 x 23.25 x 12.3 inches
27.5 x 12.25 x 15.25 inches
Weight
38.7 pounds
24.1 pounds
41 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
above ground pools
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
1.5 HP
0.75 HP
Motor
a heavy-duty, high-performance, 56 square flange motor with highly engineered hydraulics
heavy-duty, high-performance motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor
Built-In Filter
oversized strainer basket with a see-through lid
large capacity basket with a see-through lid
oversized strainer basket with a see-through lid
Port Size
1.5" internal and 2" external slip
1.5"
2"
RPM
3450
3450
3450
GPM
100
70-100
80-100
Cord
no cord included
a 3 ft cord
no cord included
Installation
easy to install
horizontal/vertical discharge for easy converting from vertical to horizontal discharge orientation
easy to install
Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High...
Dimensions
27.5 x 12.5 x 14.8 inches
Weight
38.7 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
a heavy-duty, high-performance, 56 square flange motor with highly engineered hydraulics
Built-In Filter
oversized strainer basket with a see-through lid
Port Size
1.5" internal and 2" external slip
RPM
3450
GPM
100
Cord
no cord included
Installation
easy to install
PENTAIR 340210 Dynamo Above Ground...
Dimensions
9 x 23.25 x 12.3 inches
Weight
24.1 pounds
Pool Type
above ground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor
Built-In Filter
large capacity basket with a see-through lid
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
3450
GPM
70-100
Cord
a 3 ft cord
Installation
horizontal/vertical discharge for easy converting from vertical to horizontal discharge orientation
Pentair 011512 WhisperFlo High...
Dimensions
27.5 x 12.25 x 15.25 inches
Weight
41 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
0.75 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor
Built-In Filter
oversized strainer basket with a see-through lid
Port Size
2"
RPM
3450
GPM
80-100
Cord
no cord included
Installation
easy to install

Price history:

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VARIABLE SPEED POOL PUMPS

In this section, we’d like to discuss three pool pump brands – the well-known Hayward and Pentair and one more XtremepowerUS.

Variable speed pumps significantly differ from single speed models in many respects. Firstly, they provide more speed options that adjust automatically to pool needs or are set by users. Also, we notice better motors and higher HP rates.

However, smart speed adjustment allows for great energy savings. Variable speed modes mean extreme energy savings up to 90% compared to single speed pumps. Increased power means that pumps better suit large inground pools.

Finally, users love easy control through digital screens with multiple speed settings and timers.

The improved performance results in higher prices. Costs for variable speed pool pumps start from $1000, so they’re quite expensive. Still, you’ll redeem your investments later on electricity saving. So, let’s compare the best representatives of this class!

Single Speed vs Variable Speed Pool Pumpsimportant

Here, we won’t provide you with GPM rates like in the single speed pump section as the exact GPM will vary greater depending on the speed chosen and the pool size. Please consult the manufacturer.

Hayward Variable Speed Pumps

If we compare Hayward single speed vs variable speed pool pumps, we’ll notice significant changes.

First of all, pumps became more powerful in terms of HP rate. Also, now motors support a special permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled technology called TEFC. Thus, they are less subject to overloading, provide more power, and serve longer.

Pumps can automatically alter speed from 600 to 3450 RPM or support your 24-hour timer with 8 settings. Control became easier, too, thanks to a digital control interface. By the way, you can both mount the pumps in several options (standard and wall options) and adjust the interface position (four options) for your comfort.

The final improvement of Hayward variable speed pool pumps is compatibility with various automation systems like Omni Logic so that you can completely forget about manual controlling.

Let us mention that Hayward models are quite similar in many ways. The main differences between the products are HP rate, energy-saving level, port size, and some additional technologies. For example, only the Hayward SP3202VSP TriStar VS pump offers on-board motor diagnostics and automatic protection for the most widespread problems. And Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS pump features a much quieter operation due to the hydraulic design.

In our review, Hayward variable speed pumps are represented by these two most popular models.

Comparison Table

Hayward SP3202VSP 1.85 HP...
Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS...
Dimensions
32 x 13 x 16 inches
28.6 x 11.3 x 15.6 inches
Weight
48.4 pounds
30 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
inground pools
HP
1.85 HP
1.5 HP
Motor
90% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
80% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
Port Size
2" x 2.5" CPVC union connections
1.5"
RPM
600-3450
600-3450
Hayward SP3202VSP 1.85 HP...
Dimensions
32 x 13 x 16 inches
Weight
48.4 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1.85 HP
Motor
90% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
Port Size
2" x 2.5" CPVC union connections
RPM
600-3450
Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS...
Dimensions
28.6 x 11.3 x 15.6 inches
Weight
30 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
80% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
600-3450

Price history:

Pentair Variable Speed Pumps

Pentair variable speed pumps share lots of features with Hayward devices. Thus, we notice the same top-level TEFC motors with cooling and load protection. Also, users have to pay a minimum of effort to customize the speed and durability of work since these pumps come with digital touch screens. A 24-hour timer is included, too, but the products differ in the number of speed modes and even RPM. This results in energy savings.

Here, we highlighted two Pentair models – Pentair SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump 342001 and Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump. The first pump gives us 1.5 HP, while the second is twice more potent.

Like with Haywards, Pentair makes a division in terms of additional diagnostics protection. Only the IntelliFlo product boasts this technology. Besides, we can use the Pentair automation & controls support for pump independent work and phone control.

Pentair variable speed pool pumps are Energy Star certified and meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency & the U.S. Department of Energy requirements.

Comparison Table

Pentair SuperFlo VS Variable Speed...
Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool...
Dimensions
28 x 15.5 x 12.5 inches
23.3 x 10.8 x 12.4 inches
Weight
52 pounds
50 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
3 HP
Motor
80% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
90% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 3 custom timer functions
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
Port Size
1.5"
2"
RPM
300-3450
450-3450
Pentair SuperFlo VS Variable Speed...
Dimensions
28 x 15.5 x 12.5 inches
Weight
52 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
80% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 3 custom timer functions
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
300-3450
Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool...
Dimensions
23.3 x 10.8 x 12.4 inches
Weight
50 pounds
Pool Type
inground pools
HP
3 HP
Motor
90% energy-saving, permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
24-hour with 8 custom timer functions
Port Size
2"
RPM
450-3450

Price history:

XtremepowerUS Variable Speed Pumps

XtremepowerUS
Unlike the previous models, XtremepowerUS provides two speeds. We include them in the variable speed pumps group since they can automatically change RPM, but in fact, we deal with dual speed devices.

XtremepowerUS pumps are quite different from other models in many respects. We see the same HP power and maximum RPM rates as in Haywards and Pentairs. But fewer speed options make them a nice choice both for large inground pools and smaller above ground reservoirs.

Also, the brand prefers using simpler heavy-duty, high-performance motors with air-flow ventilation that we noticed in single speed pumps. The further single speed vs variable speed pool pumps comparison shows XtremepowerUS pumps take a kind of transit position between both types since they also lack smart digital screens and timers for manual customization and scheduling.

However, a simpler design doesn’t mean worse performance. We have less convenient control and simpler motors, but the pool pumps are much more affordable for this reason. We believe XtremepowerUS dual speed pumps to be perfect for customers on a budget who would like to get some electricity savings (about 50%).

In our review, the brand is represented by two pool pump models – XtremepowerUS XP75034 Inground Pool Pump 5280GPH and XtremepowerUS XP75035 2HP In-Ground Swimming Pool Pump.

Comparison Table

XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Inground Pool...
XtremepowerUS 2HP In-Ground...
Dimensions
24.5 x 12 x 8 inches
14.3 x 27.5 x 10.4 inches
Weight
30.8 pounds
38.2 pounds
Pool Type
above ground and inground pools
above ground and inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
2 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
Port Size
1.5"
2"
RPM
1720 and 3450
1720 and 3450
XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Inground Pool...
Dimensions
24.5 x 12 x 8 inches
Weight
30.8 pounds
Pool Type
above ground and inground pools
HP
1.5 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
Port Size
1.5"
RPM
1720 and 3450
XtremepowerUS 2HP In-Ground...
Dimensions
14.3 x 27.5 x 10.4 inches
Weight
38.2 pounds
Pool Type
above ground and inground pools
HP
2 HP
Motor
heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation
On-Board Diagnostics and Automatic Protection
Built-In Filter
large basket with a see-through lid
Digital Control Interface
Timer
Port Size
2"
RPM
1720 and 3450

Price history:

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Hayward vs Pentair vs XtremepowerUS: what is the best pool pump for inground pools?

faqWe’d recommend you to pay attention to Hayward SP3202VSP TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump. The model is ideal for the largest pools but still provides up to 90% energy saving, extra-durable motor, smart control, and on-board diagnostics.

Also, Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump is a decent and equal but more expensive option.

What is the best single speed pool pump?

Hayward W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix provides excellent power, includes a cord, and can be installed both horizontally or vertically, depending on your needs. This is a great and potent single speed option.
Please, also mind Pentair brand with its Pentair 340039 SuperFlo and Pentair 340210 Dynamo pumps that stand aside due to compactness and high HP rate.

Can dual speed pool pumps be used in above ground pools and replace single speed pool pumps?

Yes, dual speed pool pumps can be installed for above ground and inground pools. You can also get a dual speed pump instead of your old single speed model if you’re looking for an electricity economy and longer service life.

Where are Hayward, Pentair, and XtremepowerUS pool pumps made?

In all three cases, manufacturing partially takes place in the USA and Asian countries.
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Conclusion

In this article, we tried to consider the most popular and efficient single speed and variable speed pool pumps by three leading brands.

In fact, the models don’t differ that much, but there are some unique technologies that can greatly influence performance and your choice (like HP, RPM, smart speed control, TEFC colling motors, automatic self-diagnostics).

Also, we can say that the market offers various pumps for any pool and customer. So, we hope you’ll find your perfect pool pump.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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